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Galileo Satellites: What Is Coming Next..?


(European Navigation In-Orbit Validation satellites in medium-Earth orbit, the minimum number needed to perform a navigation fix.  Credits: ESA – P. Carril /)


Galileo logo

Deployment Of Europe’s Galileo Constellation Continues…

  • The third and fourth satellites of Europe’s global navigation satellite system were lofted into orbit on 12 October from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. They join the first pair of satellites launched a year ago to complete the validation phase of the program.
  • The Soyuz ST-B launcher, operated by Arianespace, lifted off at 18:15 GMT (20:15 CEST) from the Guiana Space Center.
  • All the stages of the Soyuz vehicle performed as planned and the Fregat-MT upper stage released the  satellites into their targeted orbit at close to23 200 km altitude, 3 hours 45 minutes after liftoff.
  • These satellites were built by a consortium led by Astrium as prime contractor, with Thales Alenia Space in charge of assembly, integration and testing.

European Satellite Navigation commemorative coin

European Satellite Navigation commemorative coin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • The operations are managed by SpaceOpal a joint company of the DLR German Aerospace Center and Italy’s Telespazio, with the early operations of the satellites controlled by a joint ESA and CNES French space agency team in Toulouse, France.
  • After initial checks, they will be handed over to the Satellite Control Centers in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, and Fucino,Italy, for testing before they are commissioned for the satellites’ service validation phase.
Navstar-2F satellite of the Global Positioning...

Navstar-2F satellite of the Global Positioning System (GPS) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Demonstrating The Galileo Performance…

  • From a performance point of view, these In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites are the same as the forthcoming satellites.
  • With four identical satellites now in orbit, ESA will be able to demonstrate the performance of the Galileo positioning system fully before the deployment of the remaining operational satellites.
  • “Since the first launch a year ago, Galileo’s technology has proven itself in orbit,” said Didier Faivre, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Program and Navigation-related activities.
  • “Thanks to the satellites launched, the testing phase will be completed, and clear the way for rapid full-scale deployment of the constellation.
  • “By late 2014, 18 satellites are scheduled to have been launched, by which time early services to Europeans can begin.”
  • Galileo’s Full Operational Capability (FOC) will be reached with 30 satellites (including the four IOVs and in-orbit spares) in 2018.

Galileo IOV Take-Off…

  • The Soyuz ST-B launcher carrying the next two satellites In-Orbit Validation satellites took off as scheduled on 18:15:00 GMT (20:15:00 CEST) yesterday. Deployment of its twin satellites into orbit is scheduled for three hours 44 minutes after take-off.

by ESA

Russia Orbits Two European Navigation Satellites

RIA Novosti, on Fri, 12 Oct 2012 17:55:03 -0700

The satellites are the third and fourth in global navigation satellite system  the European analogue of the US GPS, which is set to eventually expand to 30 satellites, including 27 operational ones and three spares. The first two satellites 

Europe’s version of GPS reaches key phase

BBC News, on Fri, 12 Oct 2012 15:03:33 -0700

It is an important milestone for the multi-billion-euro project to create a European version of the US Global Positioning System (GPS). With four satellites now in orbit – the first and second spacecraft were launched in 2011 – it becomes possible to 

Global Positioning System – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or 

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GPS.GOV. U.S. flag Official U.S. Government information about the. Global Positioning System (GPS) and related topics. Skip menu. HOME · General Public 

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